TradeStation Group, Inc. was founded in 1982 and is currently headquartered in Plantation, Florida. TradeStation operates through its principal operating subsidiaries, TradeStation Securities, Inc., and IBFX, Inc. However, TradeStation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Monex Group, Inc., one of the largest online financial services providers in Japan.
The TradeStation platform provides a variety of services to its customers, which include electronic order execution, allows customers to design, to test, optimize, to monitor and automate their individual custom equities, options, futures and a variety of forex trading strategies.
- Options and Features
- Client Support
- Stocks and ETFs — $5.00 per trade
- Options — $0.50 per contract + $5.00 per trade
- Futures — $1.50 per contract per side
- Mutual Funds — $14.95 per trade
- Bonds — $14.95 + $5.00 per bond
TradeStation gives you free market data and free premium tools. There are no software fees.
Options and Features
TradeStation also provides award-winning technology, such as the TradeStation platform, TradeStation web trading, TradeStation mobile, order execution, market data and chart pattern recognition.
- TradeStation Platform — with this feature you can take advantage of chart trading, forex trading enhancements, enhancements to the Walk-Forward Optimizer, as well as the growing EasyLanguage Class Library.
- TradeStation Web Trading — with this feature you can trade options chains with advanced analysis capabilities, get real-time streaming quotes, place orders with ease through chart trading, instantly search for symbols, use indicators to configure charts and quotes, check positions, orders and balances and place trades with ease.
- TradeStation Mobile — this feature allows you to use your mobile device to analyze markets, place trades and manage orders anywhere, anytime.
- Order Execution — this feature provides reliable, lightning-fast order execution and price improvement opportunities for both individual and institutional clients.
- Market Data — this feature will allow you to know where the market is before anyone else, help you to avoid back-testing and trading pitfalls caused by bad ticks, avoid missing a trading opportunity, connect from anywhere, test your strategies across all market cycles, test your futures strategies across years of futures data, gain access to exclusive market indices that aren't available anywhere else and experience the most detailed market depth coverage in the industry.
- Chart Pattern Recognition Alerts — Recoginia provides daily chart pattern alerts to help you find possible trading opportunities as indicated by Rocoginia's automated analytics of the most often used chart patterns. This will enable you to make informed trading decisions based off of detailed, actionable information.
TradeStation offers strong customer support options via phone, but the phone hours vary, depending on whether you are a retail or institutional customer and whether or not you need client services or technical support. The company also offers support via email and live chat.
TradeStation has a pretty steep minimum activity fee of $99.95 per month. Equity and Futures clients' qualify for a minimum activity fee waiver, as well as free access to RadarScreen and Portfolio Maestro when your prior month's activity includes10 round-turn futures and/or futures options contracts, or 50 options contracts traded, or 5,000 shares trades, or a $100,000 account balance.
Pattern day trading accounts must maintain a minimum daily balance of $25,000 to avoid restrictions. This may be out of reach for most smaller investors. However, this minimum makes sense as TradeStation focuses mainly on providing advanced tools and technologies that are designed for serious traders. And again, to waive the account service fee of $99.95 per month, traders need to meet one of these trading activity minimums during the preceding month: trade 50 contracts, maintain a $100,000 balance, or trade 5,000 shares.
The Bottom Line
TradeStation has a good number of investing options, such as stocks, ETFs, options, futures, forex, mutual funds, and bonds and is an excellent option for serious traders with the expertise and resources to trade frequently. However, if you are just getting started in investing, the high prices and minimum requirements might not fit your situation.